Foreplay

Author's Note: This was supposed to be smut, inspired by the parabatai sparring in 2x11. Instead my muse channeled the feels of the rooftop hug. Sorry-not-sorry. 🙂

***

Sparring had always been a kind of foreplay for them.

The first time they kissed happened after one of Alec's rare victories, his face hovering above Jace while he immobilized him with his entire body, using every inch he'd only recently gained on his parabatai. They were both breathing hard, the air between them suddenly crackling with tension as they stared into each other's eyes. Suddenly something shifted in Jace, something dark and undefined and wanting. Without thinking he surged upwards and clumsily, eagerly pushed his lips against Alec's.

For a long moment Alec remained frozen, then, with a small, shuddering sigh that Jace felt more than heard, he relaxed, his mouth falling open, and they were kissing for real. It didn't last long, but it set Jace on fire in a way none of the girls he'd gone with ever had, and he found that this didn't surprise him in the least. This was Alec, after all, his parabatai, and it only felt natural that his body would recognize the other half of his soul.

When Alec broke away, sitting up abruptly, Jace couldn't help the happy laughter bubbling out of him. It died down quickly, however, because Alec was drawing away completely, wrapping his arms around his knees, troubled gaze fixed on a spot next to Jace's head. Pushing himself up on his elbows, Jace nudged him gently with one knee. "Alec, what's wrong?"

This got Alec to look at him, but the cold fury in those familiar hazel eyes felt like a bucket of cold water, as did the bitterness in his voice when he bit out, "What's wrong? Jace, you kissed me!"

"Yeah, so? You kissed me back, don't tell me you didn't like it!"

Jace reached out, but Alec scrabbled away, shaking his head angrily. "That's the problem! Don't you get it, Jace? I've been dreaming of kissing you forever, since before you asked me to be your parabatai, and you just… go ahead and do it, the way you do everything that pops into your head, with no regards to the consequences!" His voice dropped into a defeated whisper that twisted painfully deep in Jace's gut. "As if it meant nothing…"

That got Jace to sit up, and this time he didn't let Alec avoid his touch, firm fingers under his chin forcing him to meet his eyes. "Nothing? Alec, I might not have consciously thought of this before, but it could never be nothing."

A flush colored Alec's face, and he half-mumbled, "It's just… you've been with girls, beautiful girls, and I... I'm just me. Who's never even kissed anyone."

Warmth spread through Jace, and he smiled helplessly, shaking his head quickly when Alec's eyes narrowed in obvious hurt. "Alec, those girls… they're the ones that mean nothing, nothing but a good time for everyone involved. You, you're my parabatai, my best friend, my family… you're everything! So in a way kissing you was a first for me, too."

With that he leaned in and covered Alec's surprised smile with his lips, joy bubbling up in him as he found his kiss enthusiastically reciprocated. All qualms apparently forgotten, strong archer's fingers came up to bury themselves in his hair, and Jace gripped his parabatai's shoulders as their tongues tangled.

That was the first but by no means the last time they ended up wrapped around each other after sparring. Victory in battle had a similar effect, but they tended not to be alone for those, and they both knew all too well what they were risking. It just wasn't enough to stop them from falling into one another behind closed doors and in secluded training spaces, adrenaline coursing through their bodies. One moment they were breathless and laughing, the next their mouths collided and their hands began wandering over heated skin.

Jace came to love the taste of Alec's sweat, the strength of his legs wrapped around his hips, their matching erections pressing against each other as they rocked back and forth, the urgency of his touch that never abated, not after years. They led dangerous lives, which made the secret they kept all the more precious. Stolen moments of uncomplicated happiness found in the harmless clashing of weapons, the playful grappling of bodies that turned into something sweet and tender.

Sparring had always been a kind of foreplay for them, exhilarating and joyful, but it was in the aftermath, Jace's head on Alec's shoulder, possessive hands splayed over naked skin, that Jace found peace. It didn't matter how dark things got, together they burned brightly.

***

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